Speaker Hughes Attends WH State House Speakers Conference

Speaker Greg Hughes attended the White House State House Speakers Conference on May 21, 2018. The conference brings together state house speakers from across the country to receive an update on the President’s policy initiatives.

Several administration officials meet with the group including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Senior Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, senior staff members and intergovernmental directors from more than 20 federal agencies. During the conference, they discussed an extensive range of topics including federalism, housing, opioids, homelessness, deregulation, workforce development, the farm bill, rural businesses, broadband, opportunity zones, veterans’ legislation, infrastructure, treatment, health care and foreign trade.

Rep. Schultz and Sen. Harper ask UTA to hold on rebranding UTA

For Immediate Release
May 16, 2018

Contacts:
Aundrea Peterson
Director of Communications
Utah House of Representatives
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

Bryan Smith
Deputy Chief of Staff
Utah State Senate
bsmith@le.utah.gov

 Sen. Harper and Rep. Schultz ask UTA to hold on rebranding UTA

Salt Lake City – Due to confusion and misinformation surrounding SB 136, Transportation Governance Amendments, bill sponsors Senator Wayne Harper and Representative Mike Schultz request Utah Transit Authority (UTA) to not proceed with the request for proposal (RFP) and rebranding. The Legislature will continue to study this issue and work with the new UTA board once it is in place, to decide the best path forward.

“We want all to focus on the new day of multimodal transportations, better utilization of resources, improved land use and planning and adequate funding,” said Sen. Wayne Harper. “A plan for the next 40 years.”

“The name change was a minimal aspect of the bill. No money was appropriated to rebrand UTA,” said Rep. Mike Schultz. “The purpose of this legislation is to revamp the transit agency by increasing transparency, improving checks and balances and providing local governments with the necessary tools to assist with the growing demand for multimodal transportation. It is now time for stakeholders to come together to further enhance Utah’s transportation system and set clear directives that will lead to better efficiencies and oversight and ultimately benefit all Utahns.”

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Watch the press conference from May 16, 2018, here.

Read highlights of SB 136 here.

 

 

 

Transportation Reform

Utah’s population is expected to double within the next 50 years and we will need to continue to plan and prepare for this future growth. Utah is recognized nationwide for its innovative transportation systems and collaboration. SB 136, Transportation Governance Amendments, restructures the governance of the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), enhances the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), creates a new fund for transportation and transit and modifies some of the funding sources.

Highlights of SB 136, Transportation Governance Amendments

 UTA Governance

  • Creates a three-member full-time board of trustees that will oversee the agency.
  • Board members will be nominated by counties, appointed by the governor with consent from the Senate:
    • Salt Lake County – 1
    • Utah county with Tooele County – 1
    • Davis County and Weber County with Box Elder County – 1
  • Board members will serve three year, staggered terms that will be at-will, under the governor.
  • Creates a nine-member advisory board.
  • Must have approval from State Bonding Authority before issuance of any new bonds.
  • Requires the State Attorney General’s Office to provide legal counsel.

UDOT Governance

  • Restructures UDOT to accommodate an increased role in multimodal planning and capital development.
  • Creates a Planning and Investment Division.

Investment Fund

  • Creates a structure to form future Transit Transportation Investment Funds (TTIF), which will require at least 40 percent non-state funding.
  • Permits political subdivisions to create Transportation Reinvestment Zones to capture increases in property taxes around transportation infrastructure improvements.

Fair Share

  • As more people have switched from traditional vehicles to electric and hybrid, the gas tax has lagged behind.
  • SB 136 implements a three-year phase-in of fees for these vehicles. The purpose is to start working towards every driver paying a fair share for the use of the roads.

Provides Local Governments with Key Tools

  • Expands and clarifies counties’ authority to implement a local sales tax option of .20% for public transit after July 1, 2019.

Restructures State Transportation Planning

  • Directs UDOT to develop statewide strategic initiatives for planning and coordinating multimodal transportation.

 

EduHam

More than 2,000 high-school students, teachers and volunteers filled the Eccles Theater to participate in Hamilton Education Program (EduHam) on May 4, 2018. Students from across the state participated in the unique opportunity of performing Hamilton-inspired musical or spoken numbers on center stage.  Utah definitely has talent.

Every student who attended created their own performance. The top 15 performances from different schools were selected to present at the theater.  Each act (solo or group) presented a rap, song, poem or spoken for their  classmates.

Additionally, the cast of Hamilton answered student’s questions. Then the day concluded with a special matinee performance of the Tony-Award winning musical.

Check out the news coverage of the event here:

Northern Utah students join others at special ‘Hamilton’ show in Salt Lake City – Ogden Standard Examiner

Utah students rap and sing their way onto the ‘Hamilton’ stage – Salt Lake Tribune

‘It’s like going to Disneyland’: Utah high school students react to seeing ‘Hamilton’ – Deseret News

LISTEN: Utah Students Take The ‘Hamilton’ Stage – KUER

EduHam, ‘Hamilton’ education program, shows Utah students exciting side of history – KUTV

Utah High School Students To Enjoy Private Hamilton Performance – Utah Public Radio 

Northern Utah students join others at special ‘Hamilton’ show in Salt Lake City – Ogden Standard Examiner 

Provo students learn U.S. history through ‘Hamilton’ curriculum – Provo Daily Herald

Provo students have their eyes on history through ‘Hamilton’ – AP News


 

Former Representative Carl Duckworth

Media Statement
For Immediate Release:
May 1, 2018

House Democrats Mourn the Passing of Former Representative Carl Duckworth

SALT LAKE CITY – Today Utah House Democrats offered their condolences to Representative Susan Duckworth and her family upon hearing news of the passing of her husband and former Democratic Representative Carl Duckworth.

Representative Carol Spackman Moss said, “Carl was always kind and friendly, and never appeared to be in a bad mood. He had a quiet demeanor, but as a legislator he was always engaged and followed everything closely.  If ever I had a question during a floor debate I could always ask Carl and he knew the answer.”

Representative Patrice Arent said, “Carl was truly someone who cared about his community.  He was a wonderful friend and he cared about his colleagues. I truly enjoyed serving with him.”

Representative Mark Wheatley said, “Besides being a nice guy, Carl was a strong advocate for unions. He worked to ensure people received equal pay for equal work. He wanted people to have a livable wage with health benefits. In that sense, he was true Democrat who fought for hardworking Utahns.”

Rhoda Struhs, who was Administrative Assistant for the House Democrats while Rep. Carl Duckworth served, said, “Carl was a quiet champion. He very seldom spoke up, but instead chose to work behind the scenes. He wasn’t one to pontificate.  But when he did, the whole floor would get quiet. Carl would stand and speak very articulately and calmly about a bill, and everyone would stop and listen. That almost never happens at the legislature, and I thought it was so powerful.  Everyone heard the words he was saying when he spoke.”

Former Representative Carl Duckworth served the state of Utah as a legislator for 10 years, from January 1, 1999 until December 31, 2008.

Contact:
Ross Chambless, Communications Specialist
Utah House Minority Caucus
 rosschambless@le.utah.gov

Representative Susan Duckworth Statement

Media Statement
For Immediate Release:
May 1, 2018 

SALT LAKE CITY – Today Representative Susan Duckworth gave this statement on the passing of her husband, former Democratic Representative Carl Duckworth:

“Carl Duckworth lived a full life and passed away on Monday, May 1, surrounded by his family. Carl loved his family and the gospel. He married his sweetheart, Sue Duckworth on June 15, 1973. They are blessed with four children and eight grandchildren.  His service to the State of Utah spanned 1999 through 2008, where he served in the House of Representatives. Carl enjoyed his work in the House and is grateful for the experiences and the lifetime of friendships made there.”

Former Representative Carl Duckworth was 63.

Contact:
Ross Chambless, Communications Specialist
Utah House Minority Caucus
 rosschambless@le.utah.gov

Speaker Greg Hughes statement about the passing of Former Rep. Carl Duckworth

Media Statement
For Immediate Release
May 1, 2018

 Speaker Greg Hughes statement about the passing of Former Rep. Carl Duckworth

Salt Lake City – Speaker Greg Hughes issued this statement following the death of former Representative Carl Duckworth:

“I served with Representative Carl Duckworth. He was a committed public servant who quietly went about the People’s business without pause and never for praise. Carl’s diagnosis of cancer and the attending health complications meant it would not be possible for him to run for re-election. Carl’s exuberant wife, Sue, became our colleague when she was elected to his seat in the next election. That was a decade ago, and this incredible couple have been a dear part of our lives ever since.

“During this most recent General Session, an emotional highlight for the House was when Carl, still quietly battling for his health after all of these years, joined me on the Dais during our Floor time. In that moment, there wasn’t a dry eye in our Arena.

“We love Sue Duckworth and will dearly miss Carl. The House extends its heartfelt condolences. The Duckworth’s are family to Utah’s House of Representatives. We are sorry for the loss that is felt among family and our community as a whole.”

 

 Former Representative Duckworth served in the Utah House of Representatives from January 1, 1999, to December 31, 2008.

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson, Majority Director of Communications
Utah House of Representatives
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

 

Firework Fact Sheet

During the 2017 fireworks season, questions were raised about the types of fireworks allowed, the number of days it is legal to use fireworks, fire prevention, and liability concerns. In order to address these issues in a balanced and appropriate manner, Rep. Jim Dunnigan and Sen. Jani Iwamoto worked together on legislation that balances these concerns with the desire many Utahns have to be able to celebrate our most patriotic holidays with traditional displays of fireworks. HB 38, Fireworks Restrictions,  is the result of numerous meetings with law enforcement, firefighters, fireworks retailers and manufacturers, citizens, and local elected officials.

A balanced approach

This legislation takes a balanced, bipartisan, and reasonable approach to addressing the many viewpoints on how and when fireworks should be allowed.

40% reduction in dates fireworks are allowed to be discharged in July

  • Fireworks will be allowed on July 2-5 (instead of July 1-7) and July 22-25 (instead of  June 23- 27).
  • Fireworks would still be allowed on New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year’s Eve.

Sale of fireworks 

  • June 24-July 25 (from June 23-July 27).
  • New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year’s eve remain the same.

Stronger penalties for shooting fireworks outside of permitted dates and times

  • A penalty for discharging fireworks when not permitted would be up to a $1,000 fine.

New penalty for igniting fireworks in restricted areas

  • Up to a $1,000 penalty and an infraction for discharging fireworks in an area where fireworks have been prohibited due to hazardous environmental conditions.

More local control

  • Provides clarity and increased flexibility to local governments and the state forester to prohibit the discharge of fireworks due to historic or current hazardous environmental conditions.

Easier to understand restrictions and penalties

  • Requires local governments and the state forester to create and provide maps showing where fireworks are prohibited due to hazardous environmental conditions.
  • Requires retailers to display maps that counties provide showing these restricted areas and display signs that indicate legal dates and times as well as criminal penalties and fines for violations.

Increased liability for causing a fire with fireworks

  • Civil liability for negligently, recklessly, or intentionally causing a fire with fireworks potentially includes any damages caused by the fire and any costs of suppressing the fire.

 

 

Rep. Gage Froerer to be recognized for his legislative work

Media Advisory
For Immediate Release
April 11, 2018

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson
Utah House of Representatives
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

 Rep. Gage Froerer to be recognized for his legislative work

What:
Youth Impact is holding a press conference to recognize Representative Gage Froerer for his legislative work of supporting non-profits and helping reduce the size of government. 

Who:
Rep. Gage Froerer, District 8
Youth Impact
Northern Utah Red Cross
Cottages of Hope
Intermountain Donor Services

 Where:
Youth Impact
2305 Grant Ave, Ogden, UT 84401

When:
Thursday, April 12 at 3:30 p.m.

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Utah Legislature to hold a veto override session

MEDIA ADVISORY
April 11, 2018

CONTACT
Aundrea Peterson
Director of Communications
Utah House of Representatives
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

Utah Legislature to hold a veto override session

Salt Lake City – As outlined in the Utah Constitution, the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House have conducted a poll of their respective members, and two-thirds of the members of each chamber are in favor of reconvening the Legislature to reconsider bills and items vetoed by the Governor. President Niederhauser and Speaker Hughes will issue the official call of the veto override session to their members including the date and time of the session.

Article VII, Section 8(4) of the Utah Constitution states that the veto override session “shall begin within 60 days after the adjournment of the session at which the disapproved bill or item of appropriation passed. This session may not exceed five calendar days and shall be convened at a time set jointly by the presiding officer of each house solely for the purpose of reconsidering the bill or item of appropriation disapproved. If upon reconsideration, the bill or item of appropriation again passes both houses of the Legislature by a yea and nay vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house, the bill shall become law or the item of appropriation shall take effect on the original effective date of the law or item of appropriation.”

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